Otello, Easter Eggs and Pastry Galore

In addition to being Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg also hosts the annual Salzburg Festival in July and August as well as one of the world's most prestigious classical music event, the Salzburg Easter Festival. Today is the day when the curtain rises on the Easter Festival, with Verdi's “Otello” being the highlight of this year's program. As always, classical music aficionados will be rewarded with an exclusive blend of opera and concerts.

When Herbert von Karajan initiated the Salzburg Easter Festival in 1967, he set new artistic standards that have proven permanent. The Salzburg Easter Festival has withstood the test of time, losing neither its charm nor its benchmark character to the fickle fads of international music festivals. Its tradition is lovingly preserved by Artistic Director Christian Thielemann, by Managing Festival Director Peter Ruzicka and not least by the support of an enthusiastic international audience that consists to 88 percent of active sponsors. But even if you are not one of these patrons, you should have no trouble getting tickets for this high-profile music event with a bit of advance planning.  

5 Tips for a Divine Salzburg Festival Weekend

Tip no. 1: Early Bird Catches the Ticket

Only very few tickets are sold directly. But right at the start of ticket sales on 01 December, there is a chance to buy single tickets without becoming a sponsor. Do hurry, for ticket orders are processed on a first-come-first-served basis.  

Tip no. 2: Hotel Goldgasse – the Perfect Launch Pad

The Hotel Goldgasse is the perfect place to stay if you love modern rooms in ancient walls and if you wish to feel the heartbeat of Salzburg, one of the world's music capitals. The corridors of this completely refurbished hotel are hung with prints of opera and concert performances, while the rooms are named after operas, testimony to the fact that music and the Salzburg Festival are as much part of the city as Mirabell Palace. Each of the 16 rooms has one entire wall decorated with large prints of the Salzburg Festival taken by Italian photographer Luigi Caputo, creating a unique music inspired-ambience.  

Tip no. 3: Appearances Do Count

While it is all about the music, be sure to abide by the dress code. There is no better way to honour the festive spirit of the occasion than by donning an evening gown or a tuxedo, as the case may be. For outsiders, it is never a good idea to wear traditional Tyrolean garb like dirndl and lederhosen, as these have their own place in the region's calendar of events.  

Tip no. 4: Best to Be Prepared

Be sure to study the festival program beforehand. You'll enjoy the performances so much more if you are familiar with the score and have listened to past performances. The live concert experience will still be every bit as amazing.  

Tip no. 5: Salzburg Fare: Nockerl, Vanillekipferl, Mozartkugeln and all the Rest of it

In the wake of the Easter Festival events, the show continues backstage in Salzburg's restaurants and traditional pastry shops. The entire city is reminiscent of a sweet meringue pie, dolled up in pastel colours and richly decorated with cherubs. Be sure to try the fluffy Salzburger Nockerln at Gasthof Goldgasse, and for the finest Vanillekipferl and Mozartkugeln go to Schatz or Tomaselli, Salzburg's oldest coffee house, where the vast choice of cakes and strudels will simply overwhelm you.  

Ready for more? We compiled more than 300 hotel and restaurant suggestions for you on pillowandpepper.com – all of them personally tested on location by us.  

We hope you enjoy planning your next trip, and want you to have a lovely Easter holiday in Salzburg or at another favourite destination – please do have a good time!